Monday Fire

Clifford J. Smith photo

Smoke at the start of the fire growing southwest of Esterbrook is seen from the Esterbrook concert.

Six hundred eighty-three acres have burned six miles southwest of Esterbrook as of Tuesday, and the fire remained 0% contained, although Forest Service fire crews are on the scene battling the blaze. 

The Monday Creek Fire was reported July 9 around 1:30 p.m. and was started by a lightning strike, according to fire officials. 

When first responders arrived, the fire had already grew to 15 acres in 15 minutes. By the end of the second day it had rapidly grew to 683 acres, although it has shrunk on its own to 653 acres, according to inciweb.nwcg.gov

The bulk of the fire is located between Buzzard Peak and Spring Hill, just north of Esterbrook Road. Due to the fire’s location, Converse County Road 5/7 is closed to non-residents from mile marker 32 to the Albany-Converse County line.

To help keep the fire from running wild, there are 224 personnel working on this fire including federal, state and local firefighters, with six helicopters and single engine air tankers (SEATs). Large SEATs from Colorado delivered 14,500 gallons of fire retardant and SEATs  out of Casper delivered an addition 6,400 gallons. 

This persistence from the aircraft and ground crew has started to controlled the fire to the rugged, rural area. Crews completed a dozer line on the eastern edge of the fire as of Tuesday noon. 

The weather in the mountainous area on July 11 had cooled off from the 101 degree high the previous day to something in the mid-70s with a 35% relative humidity. Mike De Fries, Wyoming Incident Management Team 2 (WIMT2) Information Officer, stated, “We are looking for days like this to aggressively push back the fire.” 

The plan, according to a press release from the WIMT2, is to continue using aviation and ground resources to contain fire within the boundaries of Esterbrook Road and Horse Creek drainage.

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